EXPIRED: 09/08/10 – Rich Cronin, 35, was a Bostonian in a boy band who got too big to be in a boy band.
But leukemia knows no age limits and the disease he had been fighting for 5 years finally caught up to him.
Cronin shot to fame in the late ’90s as the front man of LFO alongside band members Brad Fischetti and Devin Lima. They made it big with the hit “Summer Girls,” which playfully name-checked Abercrombie & Fitch.
Managed by Lou Pearlman, the same guy who crafted teh careers out of the misfits who became ‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, LFO released an album during their first year together that included the hit “Girl on TV.” The song featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, Cronin’s supposed BFF, in the accompanying video. A 2nd CD, Life Is Good, followed shortly thereafter.
However, life wasn’t that good and LFO subsequently sued Pearlman for swindling the group out of millions of dollars and publishing rights and maintaining inappropriate relationships with band members.
“I’ve had to go to therapy … he’s really a creepy guy,” Cronin said in 2009.
He was diagnosed in 2005 but bounced back in 2007 long enough to star in the VH1 reality show “Mission: Man Band,” which featured former boy-band stars Chris Kirkpatrick from ‘NSYNC, Color Me Badd’s Bryan Abrams and 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons. The show, helmed by Grammy-winning producer Bryan-Michael Cox, followed the stars’ attempt to get back in the limelight as the boy-band supergroup Sureshot.
Cronin later released his first solo album, Billion Dollar Sound, in 2008, and LFO announced a reunion and tour in June 2009. But Cronin’s disease resurfaced and LFO quickly cut short any plans for future endeavors.
Lance Bass of ‘NSYNC found the energy to Tweet about Cronin’s death, typing, “Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died- was a amazing guy. : (”
Life’s not so good.